Hello.

I originally wrote this story (as well as the next one I'll post soon) on another site. But…my subscription expired. And I don't feel like paying again.

So. Aspiring writers of Fiction press, I lay the task on your reviews to settle my resolve in the never-ending quest of literary perfection. Your reviews are critical for me to reach this goal. And....if I publish it--you'll get a free copy (maybe) And if anyone knows anything about Japanese mythology or is skilled in creating fantasy fight sequences, let me know.

Unlike most people, I welcome nit picking comments with open arms. Be as concise as possible when reviewing--voice your opinion. I want it to be perfect.

Couple of summary and copyright notes: First off, this story Very confusing. Think of it as gothic fantasy sattire. It's still not wholly complete, and if you have questions, bring them up. There's sort of a mish-mash of Japanese mythology and made up stuff by me here, so that might also confuse you, too...And, this story is actually thought of as two stories in one, thus, will probably be very long. There's a crapload of Japanese influence in it, too; so if you have questions about any of the terms and such, speak forth. And...it's kinda violent. And I know how everyone LOVES violence, so you'll like those bloody parts. As for the main character: remember the chick on Outlaw Star (kick ass show...) with the weird eyebrows and green eyes? She's kinda like that--but older.

Second, and most importantly, you should know that all names(except Anzu--it's a real demon), original ideas, implications of mythology belonging to moi, and characters are protected under copyright by two sites--including fictionpress. In other words: don't take my stuff.

And if you decide to execute copyright infringement, I'll see you in the courtroom...

Chapter 2: A Day in the Life Of…

Note: From here on out, there will be a lot of hallucinations being spoken of in the story. So if something confuses you about the narrative, just remember: she's demented. It's perfectly natural.

Eleven years later.

I started Monday, January 22, 2007 the same way I started every boring Monday in my life. I woke up, told the demons around me "shut the fuck up", checked to see if my hands were still bloody (yep, still there), put on my college uniform ( I swear, the maker of those skimpy things must be some kind of pedophile), cleansed my body and soul of the filth of this corrupted world, groom, and prepared to run into my annoying Aunt Kioko.

Believe me when I say that I truly loved her, but her disturbing, never-changing grin; perky, caffeine-powered personality; and her 'Yes, I know no one understands you, and you hate the world - now have a nice day!' way of dismissing my feelings made it difficult to live with her. Oh well, I guess you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family.

I remember meeting her on the night of my tormentors' deaths. She found me sitting on the side of the road. Almost killing me again with her hugs, she threw a flurry of questions at me. I avoided answering them by provoking a false sense of amnesia. Taking pity on my soul, she allowed me to live with her in Osaka.

Before I stepped into the kitchen, I took a deep breath. I would need the extra air for one of her infamous 'good morning' hugs. But before I took another step, I felt the tightening grasp of a bear hug.

"Good morning, Miku!" she squealed happily, quite literally suffocating me with love.

I coughed out my words between choking gasps. "G - good morning, Kioko. Could you please let go of me?!"

Speaking to Kioko felt like talking to a 6-year old. And not because she was more than a head's length shorter than I was. She was actually very clever, but her naïve personality suggested otherwise. Most people found delight in her childlike features: the tangled blonde hair, rosy cheeks, and big, blue eyes. But to me, it was like looking into the face of one of those all-too-lifelike dolls.

Unnerving.

She released her death grip. "Oh, I'm sorry," she said with an innocent grin. "How are you doing on this perfect Monday morning?"

There's that grin again... I straightened myself out and flattened the wrinkles in my uniform. "Oh it's the same as always with me: time to face the loving world with a smile and create my future through higher learning," I said, sarcastically. I threw up my fist half-heartedly and sighed. "Oh yeah, this day is going to be...great," I said through my teeth, dryly. "So what's for breakfast?"

She held up a finger, as if she were about to make a grand statement. "Your great Aunt Kioko has prepared -"

"And if it's another one of your pancake variants of ketchup, gravy, and eggs, I think I'll pass." The gut-wrenching feeling of my stomach being filled with egg-yolk, meat juices, and tomato paste came back to me.

"Oh...well..." Kioko stuck out her lips and dropped her head like it had been sliced off by a guillotine. "I'll just get ready for work, then." She headed for the stairs, sullenly dragging her feet along the carpet. She looked back down at me with those disturbing 'puppy eyes'. "I just thought we could sit down and enjoy a little breakfast together but..." She wiped her stuffy nose. "I understand if you don't like my cooking."

Sigh. "Come on, Kioko," I groaned. "Let's go eat."

Somehow, her eyes turned completely dry. She rushed down the stairs - nearly knocking me down - and planted herself at the dinner table.

When I walked in, I was disappointed to see the pet cat - Kasumi - feasting the disgusting source of sustenance I was forced to call 'breakfast'. "Kioko!" I pointed an accusing finger at Kasumi. The urge to gut her with the knife on the table flashed through my mind.

"What's the matter, Miku?" She seemed to be completely oblivious to the situation.

"Damn it, Kioko..." I sighed. "Kasumi's already fat enough, does she have to eat my food?" I suppose I owed her a debt of thanks. If it wasn't for Kasumi, I would've been using the bathroom pass all day at school.

Kioko waved Kasumi away from the plate of slop. "Sorry about that." Her expression turned slightly pensive. For the moment, I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for her. She tried to be the best mother her dopey personality would allow, and I hardly ever showed any gratitude.

"Whatever, it's all right - really." I made my way to her hunched figure and tapped my hand on her shoulder.

"I'll just grab a Pop Tart and be on my way." I looked over to the box of pastries near the window--only to find teeth marks, claw marks, and torn, empty wrappings.

You've got to fucking be kidding me.

------------------------------------

With an empty stomach, I took the bus and headed for school. A few other students of Sakura Kaiden University rode it with me each morning. For the most part, they left me alone. And, of course, the little preppy bitches always had a thing or two to say about me. But at least they kept their meaningless conversations to themselves; all I got from them was a taunting smile here and then. The boys would get their fun by asking me out--only to make a show of me by dumping me seconds after. Then came the laughter, and shortly after, a kick to the balls

Didn't matter to me; when the armies of Hell consumed the earth, they would be the first ones to go. I would make sure of that.

When younger, I thought of school as my shelter from the storm. It was my only refuge from my abusive parents. I'm pretty sure they were glad to see me leave each day, as well. Sure, my school life was anything but perfect. Naturally, I was picked at for my quiet--yet demented--personality. But after being told 'You're going to Hell!' enough times, you kind of learn to ignore it. The university people didn't treat me that bad, mostly because they left me to myself.

But there was one person who never kept me to my peace. A highly-annoying hentai enthusiast who made it his duty to fill every single waking moment of my life with the maximum amount of pestering he could muster. A socially-depraved introvert who oppressed my mind with graphic depictions of the quote, unquote 'stipulating' animated sex he viewed on the 'net the previous night. The ender of what meager social life I obtained over the years: Hikobi Kazuma. The very name fills even my heart with dread.

That boy would do anything just to be around me. Pure obsession. He'd bend over and lick his own ass just to sit next to me in class. I guess outcasts attract one another. Like I said, you can pick you friends but you can't pick your family. Shit, I did a world of wrong when I picked him out.

When Kazuma caught sight of me in the back of the bus, his whole world lit up. A sparkle of delight appeared in his dark-brown eyes. He tripped and stumbled through the walkway, making his way to my seat. I attempted to get this little girl to sit beside me, but it was already too late.

"Don't worry, Kazuma has arrived!" He stated heroically. He smoothly waved his fingers through his wild, spiky hair. Wearing that same lecherous smile, he said, "Let me tell show you this awesome video I downloaded last night!" He took out his PDA, and brought up one of his sick, twisted movies. The moaning of a girl on-screen caught the attention of the little girl in front of me.

I rammed my head into the front seat. Oh, fffffuck The voices in my head burst with taunting laughter.

Usually, I like sick, twisted things. I'm somewhat of a sadist. But that was just...wrong.

In the corner of my eye, I saw Anzu's face appear on the side window. I slightly turned my head towards her. The expression on her face suggested some sign of trouble.

"Pay close attention," she said quietly. "I'm sensing a disturbance between Makai and the human world. Judging by the size of the tear, a rather large creature could be passing through fairly soon."

I said nothing, keeping my misery within me. "Oh, really?" I mumbled nonchalantly, head still on the seat. If I spoke any louder, I would have gained the attention of the people around me. They already thought I was crazy enough; they caught me 'talking to myself' more times than I could remember.

"Don't dismiss my words so quickly, you could be in real danger," she warned, a hint of annoyance in her tone. "I can't afford to lose you."

"I can't afford to lose you." I heard that sentence too many times. Deep down, I knew she didn't really care about me. Our relationship since the death of my parents had been thinning with each passing day. I was just her 'earthly extension', a carbon-based combat-slave forced to fight demons who crossed over. She only needed me to deliver her back to Makai. Tch, I don't think so. Of course, I did have some control over the matter; when she brought me back to life, she forced part of her soul into mine. But for her to return to Makai, I would have to willingly let my soul 'fuse' with hers.

Fat chance.

I turned to meet her face. "Anzu, the demon's we've been fighting recently are pushovers." My head went back down. "I'm sure it's nothing to worry about."

The seat's empty leather creases reminded me of the lack of energy in my veins. I really don't feel like going through this today.

She stared at me for a while. "Just be careful, okay?"

"Sure."

---------------------

When I arrived at the university, I hurried towards the entrance; partly to get away from Kazuma, and partly to check my e-mail before the bell. After putting on my slippers, I jetted down the still empty hallways to the computer lab.

I peered through the narrow window of the door. Still dark. Perfect; darkness is my element. Since there was a good chance the door was locked, I didn't bother messing with the door knob. Phasing through would do just fine. That was one perk of being the reincarnation of a centuries-old demon princess.

Heading for the elevated seats, I went for the first computer I could see. I quickly logged on and brought up the internet sign-in screen. Unbeknownst to the computer teacher, I had created my own account. He was going to get a big surprise when the phone bill came to the school. Oh well, not my problem.

"H - E - 1 - 1 - 1 - S - C - O - M - 1 - N - G," I spelled out the password. Shifting through a crapload of spam, I made my way to my e-mail page. Outside, the student's voices grew louder. Going to have to make this quick. I scrolled down until I saw the message I had been dreaming for: the reply from the Yokohama Publishing Agency. My anxious eyes viewed the load bar as the message came up.

Is this it? Will this be the blessing that starts my dream as an author? My tension grew, as each word appeared on the screen. The computer put me through torture, making me wait five minutes before I looked upon my fate.

The disappointment felt worse than a pipe to my face from my father. Here's a taste of the bullshit they threw at me:

Dear Keikimitsu-sama,

Thank you for your interest in the Yokohama Publishing Agency. But we regret to inform you that your book Born Again did not make it past our expectations. We do encourage you to keep trying. Millions of people just like you are turned down each day, but that doesn't mean you have to give up. So keep up the good work, and hang in there!

Sincerely,

Ken Shikobu

I looked down at my hands, rusted chains cutting into my flesh and coiling around my arms like iron serpents. I was still bonded to failure; lost without an aim in life. That letter ended all purpose of my existence. After that, there was only…

Nothing.

"Thanks for taking away my ambi..." The door knob turned. The last syllable hung on my tongue. "tions..."

Oh, shit.

The chains vanished.

I met the stern, aged eyes of Matsuda-sensei - the computer lab teacher. He tilted his head to the side, making the dim sunlight highlight the rows of gray in his hair. His lip was curled into a small snarl, barely noticeable from far away. Arms folded and posture straightened perfectly. I heard a small grunt from his mouth. Out of thin air, a glistening wakazashi appeared in the grasp of his right hand: punishment time. "I suppose you couldn't have waited like everyone else, hmm?"

I stood still, against the computer table. I shifted my body back and forth, sheepishly rubbing my hands on my shoulders. Well, what'd you expect me to say: 'Sorry for breaking into your lab and squandering school funds with my account'?

Then, something unexpected occurred: a smile appeared on his face. My tension broke, and the sword disappeared. He took a couple of paces toward me. "Another turn down, I see?" He placed his hand on my shoulder. "Don't worry, you'll get it one day."

I slightly turned my head up to him. I furrowed my brow with curiosity. "You know about my wanting to be writer?"

He nodded knowingly. "Do you really expect me to believe that you do your work back there each day?" he said, pointing to my computer desk. "For God's sake, I'm a teacher. I'm not that dense. I check the history at the end of each day--this is a LAN, after all." A small laugh, probably to make me feel a little stupid. Heh, it worked, too. He put his face to mine and whispered, "You may have to talk to your friend Kazuma. There's enough porn on his computer to put Playboy out of business. That is, if you go for the animated kind." He shuddered.

I politely lifted his hand from my shoulder. "So, am I in trouble?"

He shook his head. "No, not this time, anyway." The hand found its way on my head this time. He ruffled-up my already comb-depraved hair. "But come in here again without my permission, and you most certainly will be." He left. Shortly after the door opened again, a waving finger stuck out. "Oh - be sure to log off after you're done."

Well, how about that? Looked like someone in Sakura U finally saw things my way. Maybe my luck's changing.

The tardy bell rang.

Maybe not.

Sigh. I can't wait 'till this day is over.